I was raped when I was 22. It was fast and stunning. I knew the guy, a friend of a friend of a friend, and it happened in a car after a concert. He just kept repeating the same thing "you know you want this." I did not. I did not. I fought and pulled away, but then something sort of broke inside of me and I froze. I think I froze. I still can't explain to myself why I didn't get out of that car. I used to say if it happened again I would kill him in order to get away. I would do it all differently.No hospital, no police, no counseling. I mostly tried to pretend it didn't happen. It felt like it happened in a movie to someone else, or I told myself to think that way. It's just this horrid thing in the back of my mind, this place where I don't understand the world, men, myself.

Over 15 years later, it's still there. You would think it wouldn't be. For all those years this thing haunts me but not in a big way.  I used to tried to tell boyfriends about it. When that question "who have you been with comes up." Or when I'd be not in the mood for sex. (I can get overwhelmed when faces are too close to mine.) But I always regretted telling them. It made it present in our lives too much. In our faces. They always said "why didn't you just run?" And then they saw me differently.

So I stopped telling people. I've since had friends tell me stories of rape or talk about it in general and I give them sympathy or say I can't imagine. I didn't tell my boyfriend, the one, the one who is now my husband of almost 8 years. He doesn't know and never will. I almost told him when I was pregnant, because childbirth and breastfeeding  put me in this weird space about it all again. That overwhelming feeling from breath in my face was there and I hated it.

I feel horrible that I hated it, but I did. It was a depressing time, I feel like it was a lost time and I was not at my best.  I can't even imagine having another baby, and I think this is the reason.

I wish I didn't have so many regrets but I don't regret keeping my secret. It feels good to say these things, but I don't like being defined by them.  My only question is whether some day I will tell my daughter. The thought of her not being safe makes me sick. I want her to know how to fight back. I want her to never have to worry about any of this.